The Zimbabwe Chronicles Part 1

We were picked up at Harare Airport by Tim's driver, Lovemore, as Tim and Flo were on their way back from Mana Pools where Flo runs Goliath Safaris. Their home in Harare is lovely and the garden shows Flo's artistic touch.

Flo's garden. I love the little warthogs on the left!

All sorts of imported goodies are now available in Harare.

The next day (Friday), Tim, Flo and Séan had business to deal with, so David and I drove to Borrowdale Village. What a transformation! When David was there two years ago, The shops were empty. Then, in Bon Marché supermarket, all David could see were bottles of imported Zonnebloem wine and nothing else. Now, the shelves are groaning with all sorts of delights. People want for nothing - as long as they have access to the necessary American dollars. Unfortunately, huge swathes of the populous have no way of acquiring American dollars. They can buy nothing and can only resort to bartering, begging or burglary to survive.

That evening, we had a delicious braai, cooked by Tim. It was such a jolly evening as we caught up with each other's news.

Flo has added photography and writing to her other artistic skills. Her wildlife photos are stunning. Some of her latest show a lion kill that happened only a few metres in front of her. It is an amazing sequence of images.

On Saturday we relaxed looking out over Tim and Flo's garden. It is wonderfully tranquil and a twitcher's paradise. Tim has identified more than 70 different species of bird visiting their beautiful oasis in Harare.

On Sunday morning, we left Harare for Rusape where we were to have morning tea, followed by lunch, at Chitora, Terry and Sue's farm. There, we met up with Terry, Sue, Kathy, Karen, Paddy, Margie and Bernard. It was lovely to be at Chitora again as we have had many family gatherings there in the past - and I hope there will be many more to come.

Farmhouse teas are serious business for Paddy, David and Tim.

Séan, Karen and Margy relax in the garden at Chitora.

Elizabeth Coughlan

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